Sunday, September 8, 2013


I never would have thought I would have a reason to go to Cleveland, ever in my life.  Until Kj moved there. 

I was able to visit them this summer in August.  

I always get nervous when I have to fly alone.  Then, when American Airlines changed my flight two days before I was leaving, I was really nervous.  Just so you know, if your airline changes your flight and you complain that you really don’t want to fly to your destination THE DAY AFTER your original flight—they will book you on a flight on another airline.  When you get to the airport, you have to check in with an agent at the desk and –this if very important—you have to have your original ticket number.   I showed the agent all of my paperwork and she couldn’t find a ticket number on it anywhere.  I eventually found it, but she said it wasn’t the right number.  She finally had to call American to get the number from them.  So, remember—when they make these changes for you, make sure that you have ALL of the possible information that you might need when you get to the airport.

Just what you all wanted--flying advice from me.  

Seeing Kj when she jumped out of the car to hug me at the airport curb was awesome.  Then, when I got into the backseat of the car to sit by little Jay, I was in heaven.  He was shy with me for about 5 minutes, but he quickly got over it and I could tell that he hadn’t forgotten me in the last month and a half since he had seen me.   That made me very happy.  
I couldn’t wait to see him walk when we got to their apartment because I had never seen him walk before.  

I also couldn’t wait to EAT when we got there.  Kj had made enchiladas and I was so glad because I was starving.  My connection flight in Detroit, Michigan did not leave me any time to grab a bite to eat.  I had to run through the airport just to make it in time.  As I was running from one concourse to another, I looked up and saw a tram going by.  I had not seen any signs for trams or stops anywhere.  But, that information would have been really good to have.

Next bit of flying advice.  You really need about 1 ½ hours between flights if you are making connections to allow for late arrivals, and boarding half an hour before the flight leaves.  And for getting some food!

I am done with the advice for awhile.

The enchiladas were really good.  So, good that I didn’t mind eating them twice.  This is where she got the recipe (minus the avocado):

We began our fun and games the next day by going to the zoo.  I was surprised at how nice the zoo was.  It was right up there in the top five zoos that I have been to.  We had a lot of fun there.  And Jay learned how to roar when the male lion was trying to summon one of the females to walk over to where he was.


When we were at the zoo, I saw someone with a basket of fish and chips and it made me crave them.  So, of course, Kj catered to me and got some of their Alaskan halibut out of the freezer and made home-made fish and chips for dinner one night.  They were so delicious and she said that Mark has requested them again because he liked them so much.  Her “chips” were good, too.  She baked the potato slices until they were almost done and then fried them.  It was a great way to make French fries.  Kj is a very good cook!

The next day, we went to Lake Erie.  I thought I should be able to say I had seen this Great Lake since they lived so close to it.  Jay was as happy as can be to just sit in the sand and dig with a piece of driftwood.  The water was just a little bit chilly--and kind of smelled like fish!

Since I was missing the Salt Lake County fair back at home, I was okay with going to the Cuyahoga County fair with Kj and Mark.  I will probably never be able to think of that fair without laughing.  I know Kj probably hates it when I say this, but it was a pretty lame county fair.--lots of food booths and a few rides and not much else.  And, of course, once I made my fair food choice--steak kabob, I regretted it just like I always do because I saw something else five minutes later that I would rather have had.  It is always like that for me at fairs.  

I did like the gigantic elephant ear that I got, though.  

 And, it was fun to see Kj try to be hypnotized.  I really thought she had it for quite awhile, but then the hypnotist did something that woke her up even though it wasn't supposed to.  

I had seen Jay hide in behind the laundry room bi-fold doors and in the closet.  He laughs and laughs every time he opens the door up.  Then randomly, one morning, he decided to get in a kitchen cabinet.  He just cracked me up!

Kj and I have a few memories that we will never forget (like the road trip we took to St. George one weekend in October).  The African Safari in Cleveland is going to be one of those memorable adventures.  

When the animals came up to the car looking for food, Kj naturally screamed “eeeeeeee” and it was scaring little Jay.  I told her that she had to change her "eeeeeee" to "hee, hee, hee" so that he would think she was laughing.  That helped and instead he cried when we drove away from the animals -- he still wanted to see them!   

We bought a couple $5.00 bags of carrots to feed the animals. We only put one carrot in a cup at a time and lost one of our cups when when an elk just grabbed one from Kj and took off with it.  

Kj laughed so hard when I was frantically trying to roll up my window (and it wouldn't roll up) while a buffalo was coming to stick his big slobbery head in on my side of the car and I started shouting, "Release the child lock!" 

 We laughed and laughed so much that day.

Then, Kj drove to a lighthouse that she thought I would like to see.  This part of Lake Erie had big crashing waves just like the ocean.  I could have just watched them forever.   Jay liked walking all around and climbing on rocks and stairs.   


Due to some good planning on Kj’s part, I just happened to be visiting them on their anniversary.  We had one last morning to have time together before she and Mark left and went on a little honeymoon weekend, leaving little Jay and I to fend for ourselves.  (Which we didn’t mind at all).  

First, we went to the little old town of Chagrin Falls.  

This hardware store was so random.  It was part hardware and part antiques.  And everything was all mixed up together.  One side of an aisle would have snow shovels and axes and the other side would have antique toys.  It was an adventure going up and down the rows.  

I had the best lunch in Chagrin Falls.  Jay enjoyed playing with the straws in the water glasses and decided that he now liked strawberries.  And strawberries dipped in ketchup! 

We have always loved open-faced Norwegian Shrimp Sandwiches made with buttered French Bread, Mayonnaise flavored with lemon juice, lettuce and shrimp.  This menu had a shrimp sandwich flavored with key lime juice and the sandwich had bacon on it!  It was very good.  (I made these sandwiches right after I got home from Cleveland for Hunter Man.  My only alteration was to break the bacon into little pieces and mix it in with the Mayonnaise.  It made it a lot easier to eat.)  

Kj was very torn about leaving Jay with me and going away to have some alone time with Mark.  But, Jay loved having me there and I loved my time with him. We had fun just playing and playing. And the anniversary date was fun for them with stand-up paddle boarding on a river, going out to dinner, staying in a motel, and then going to Six Flags the next day and night.

I was a little bit worried about how bedtime was going to go because I thought Jay might start crying for his mom like he did when I watched him at night in Utah.  But, everything went just fine—even though on Saturday night, I did not want to put him to bed.  I knew it was my last night with him and I didn’t want it to end.  We must have read, “I’ll Love You Forever” about 14 times.  He loves the part where she rocks him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.  And I loved rocking him back and forth.  

The week went by way too fast and leaving was soooo hard.

But, I am glad I was able to go visit them and I can't wait until October when they come here!